Free agent designated hitter/first baseman Edwin Encarnacion has three preferred landing spots – the Blue Jays, Red Sox and an unidentified team – a major league source told Rob Bradford of WEEI. The mystery club isn’t the Yankees, per Bradford, and they’re likely out of the running for Encarnacion (if they were ever in it) after adding Matt Holliday. The Blue Jays could be out, too, as they’ve reached deals with two first base/DH types in Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce this offseason. The fact that Toronto moved on to other options so quickly after Encarnacion rejected its four-year, $80MM offer came as a surprise to the longtime Jay, tweets Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
More from the majors’ two East divisions:
- Despite reported interest in Holliday and now-Astro Carlos Beltran, Boston didn’t make offers to either, Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “I figured we would wait to see what takes place later on, who’s out there. Our priority is to try to get a guy that can pitch the eighth inning for us,” said Dombrowski, who’s working with a limited amount of spending room because of a desire to stay under the $195MM luxury-tax threshold. “There’s a little bit more of a drive to [stay under]. But I can’t tell you where we we’re going to end up,” he stated. “There are penalties attached that I would rather not be in a position that we have to incur.” That would seem to rule out any possibility of Encarnacion to Boston, which already looked unlikely entering Monday. As for the bullpen, Dombrowski is unsure whether he’ll acquire a setup man via trade or free agency, but he hasn’t ruled out re-signing either Brad Ziegler or Koji Uehara.
- The Yankees are one of “several” teams engaging in “ongoing” dialogue with free agent infielder Luis Valbuena, his agent, Steve Schneider, told Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Bombers have so far balked at the demands of Valbuena, who is seeking a multiyear deal and wants an everyday role. New York won’t be able to offer a daily place in its lineup to Valbuena unless it deals third baseman Chase Headley, but the club hasn’t had any luck doing that. Valbuena, 31, spent the previous two years in Houston and is coming off his third straight strong offensive campaign, though his season ended in August because of hamstring surgery.
- The Blue Jays continue to have interest in acquiring outfielder Jay Bruce from the Mets, but they’re “offering little,” relays FanRag’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link). Toronto nearly acquired Bruce from Cincinnati last offseason, but the deal fell apart and he went on to hit .250/.309/.506 with 33 home runs in 589 plate appearances with the Reds and Mets. New York is now likely to move Bruce, who will make $13MM next season in the final year of his contract.
- The Marlins are “looking outside the organization” for a backup catcher to replace now-Diamondback Jeff Mathis, team president Michael Hill said Monday (Twitter link via Spencer). A.J. Ellis came up as a possibility Monday.
i’ll lose my $h!t if EE signs with the indians
Why? He’d be out of the division. You don’t want EE or José with NY, BOS or BAL, do you?
I think “partyatnapolis” wants EE on the Tribe.
you are correct sir
Not gonna happen, the Tribe shops at the scratch and dent section and not for marquee free agents that have compensation attached to them. They spend a fraction of the price of EE on a couple free agents and hope they have career years or bounce back seasons like Davis and Napoli.
yeah but if they know they’re good now they will sign him
I think it’s Mark Shapiro who shops at the scratch n dent section.. not the Indians. Hence why the blue jays are failing to bring back either of their 2 all time great bats this off-season.
He’s being smart, not cheap. Who wants to pay an aging slugger top dollar when he’s more than likely going to start declining
They might shop at the scratch and dent section, but not bringing back Joey bats is probably the best move they make all winter. Regardless how great he was in the past.
Yep, just like the Angels signing one of the all-time greats in Pujols to a contract that is working out SO WELL for them! Can you imagine Pujols gets 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 mil over the next 5 seasons GUARANTEED??? My personal take is Edwin’s agent got greedy, and the Jays just would not bite on the 5th year (4 was too long IMO). I mean look at the amount of 1-dimensional players available this year. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out he’s got a very small amount of clubs willing to pay. I’ll miss him, but to me I want to win, I don’t care much about the names on the jerseys.
Yeah, I’m not surprised by this. Disappointed that the FO and ownership went cheap after the successes of the last few seasons. I wonder how many games they’ll sell out with such a weakened team.
Why exactly? Sure him going to the team that beat the Jays would suck but correct me if I’m wrong but the Indians work under a pretty strict budget. Unless they get EE for some insane discount on dollars or years, it’d eat a sizeable portion of their budget, which has never exceeded $100 million according to Cot’s Contracts. They already have $68 million committed to 2017(again according to Cot’s) and that’s not factoring in arbitration salaries/raises to Allen, Bauer, Shaw, etc. Allocating nearly 20% of their budget to EE’s age 34 and beyond years(assuming he gets $20 million per year) could hurt them far more than it could help, no matter how productive he’d be.
The Jays offered him what has turned out to be a fair market offer and he turned it down. He earned his FA rights and he gave the Jays some great years. Good luck to him, I’ll never boo him and I’ll always remember him as one of the best Jays power hitters in franchise history.
Ahh I too read party’s comment as an angry Jays fan. My mistake.
you make good points though.. his salary would handicap the indians for years. especially with all the arbitration players and SP to lock down to extensions. for what it’s worth, i can’t envision EE playing for a team other than toronto. he owns rogers centre and that fan base.
Ditto, there is still room for EE at 1st if Pierce plays OF – Shapiro better find a way to sign him!!!
Depending on how much Valbuena is asking per year if Headley gets traded wouldn’t be a bad pickup, just hopefully not too long of a commitment.
The “mystery” team that makes the most sense for free agent 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion would seem to be the Texas Rangers. The Indians have also been rumored to have strong interest in the slugger, especially if his price continues to drop from original projections.
F the rangers
I think that a trade of Devers for Nate Jones would benefit both the White Sox and Red Sox. White Sox are rebuilding and need position players. Red Sox need a good cheap set up option.
Yes, although the Red Sox might not want to pay that highly for a setup man.
If I were Dave Dombrowski, I’d be on the phone with White Sox GM Rick Hahn first thing Tuesday morning and make my final best offer for both Chris Sale and Jones in a package. Dombrowski is a wheeler/dealer who has swooped in at the last minute to make blockbuster deals before.
In my opinion, the White Sox could do better than what’s being reported as the likely trade with the Nationals. I’d rather they receive more MLB ready talent with an emphasis on position players who can hit. Boston can do that better than the Nats, especially since Trea Turner is off-limits. I don’t trust the White Sox to develop Victor Robles to his fullest potential but would have no problems with players who have already excelled or at least tasted the big leagues…like Jackie Bradley Jr. and Yoan Moncada.
I agree that the price is steep, but Jones has closer stuff and is signed really cheaply long term. IMO it would be a fair trade Jones for Devers.
Way too steep. Boston could sign a cheap option and keep Devers. That makes much more sense. You overvalue Jones
I think the White Sox might want someone a little closer to ML ready than a 19 year old who is yet to play above High A ball especially if they give up a quality relief pitcher with potentially 5 years of team control at very reasonable prices by MLB standards.
Devers is good and has potential but he is still a ways off from contributing to a big league club and a lot can happen to a prospect in 2 or so years.
I agree if I had a choice I would want more mlb ready players, but the Sox seem pretty interested in Robles from the Nationals who is of similar age, so I could see them going for this trade.
Another trade I would like would be Jones for Swihart and Travis and a couple middle/lower ranked prospects.
There is zero chance Boston is giving up Devers for Nate Jones. No offense, but he’s not 1/2 of what it would take to get Devers. Nate Jones isn’t worth a top 150 prospect, much less a top 25 prospect.
You are overvaluing Jones’ worth by about 400%!
I would like Sale/Abreu/Robertson/Jones for Castillo/Craig.!
Then you must be a Red Sox fan.
I would think a good trade for Nate Jones would be Alexander Basbee and Louis ysla.
I love you people who think Swihart has lost all this value and would now be part of a deal for a setup man. There is no way that the Red Sox trade Swihart in that deal by himself let alone adding more to it.
If DD traded Swihart, Travis, plus for Nate Jones then he would be fired.
Oh look the Red Sox acquired Thornburg and didn’t have to give up Swihart, Travis or Devers.
You think trading the #16 prospect in all of baseball for a “meh” setup man with only 2 years of team control left is a good trade for the Red Sox?
That’s too much to pay for Nate Jones
Is there any way to get rid of Smoak? And maybe get Moreland or how knows still bring EE.
That’d be way too many 1B/DH only options for one team. Pearce is versatile but isn’t exactly a gold glover at any position while Morales, Moreland and EE are purely 1B/DH. Only so many AB’s and innings available and you also have to factor in off days for Tulo and especially JD with all the injuries he battled through late last year.
Like. Moreland 1 base, Morales DH and Pearce OF. And figure a trade for OF.
Just can see Smoak out there anymore.
Honestly, Smoak and Moreland are pretty much the same player except Smoak is a switch hitter and Moreland isn’t.
The only real differences are Moreland K’s less and Smoak BB’s more. They’ve posted almost identical wRC and ISO over the last 3 seasons. It’s actually kind of scary how similar their offensive numbers are.
Defensively, Smoak has a reputation as a plus defender though his defensive metrics suggest otherwise. Moreland on the other hand posts superior defensive runs saved and UZR rates.
I doubt Moreland gets less than Smoak’s $4 million salary so dedicating more payroll to get essentially the same player doesn’t make a ton of sense.
This is how the jays should shake up as is (IMO):
1. Travis (2b)
2. Donaldson (3b)
3. Pearce (LF)
4. Morales (DH)
5. Tulo (SS)
6. Martin (C)
7. Smoak (1b)
8. Pompey (vs RHP)/Upton (vs LHP) [RF]
9. Pillar (CF)
Upton Jr./Pompey (platoon)
Carrera/Goins (depending on who makes it)
they may be worst than the yankees next year
Yeah that lineup is a strikeout machine with no power
@Patborders92 They have subtracted Saunders (157 Ks), Bautista (103 ks) and Edwin (138 Ks) so if anything this team will strike out less than last year. As far as power goes the only batter in the starting lineup that projects for less than 15 home runs over 162 is Pompey and Pillar but at least in Pompey’s case his platoon partner his 20 HR’s last year (Upton Jr.). Morales (30 HRs), Donaldson (37 HRs), Tulo (24 HRs), Martin (20 HRs) and Upton Jr. (20Hrs) all hit 20 or above last year (5/9ths of the lineup) while Pearce has averaged 30 HRs/162 games played over the last 3 years (hit 13 last year), Smoak has averaged 21 HRs/162 games played over the last 2 years (hit 14 last year), and Travis has averaged 20/162 over his whole career (the last 2 years). Even Pillar hit 12 the year prior to this one. Basically everyone has the potential to hit 20 Hrs (cept pompey and pillar) so describing the lineup as “a strikeout machine with no power” makes little sense. If anything they should be less strikeout prone than last year and be a pretty damn powerful squad.
How is losing Joey Bats, EE, and Saunders and replacing them with Pearce, Morales, and Pompey still make them a powerful squad? I honestly think that lineup is pretty weak. Pearce is not going to replicate his year. Look at how bad he did in the 2nd half, OBP and OPS and even BA dropped big time. At this stage of his career, he is a nice utility player, but Pearce, in addition to Morales and Pompey, is not going to help replace all that power the team lost. That lineup does not look scary to me at all.
I’m sorry but there’s no way that carrera ever in his career hits 20 home runs and Pearce is not a every day player he’s a platoon smoak is a platoon Upton is a platoon there is only 3 everyday players in our current line up don, pillar, and Morales I will never count Travis as an everyday player till he actually plays more than 2 months a season more than for one year
Replacing them with Pearce, Morales and Pompey/upton means that they are at least a league average squad with regards to HRs. It also substansially improves the defence. Pearce only had one bad month last year and it was the last one. His second worst month was his first one so all this indicates to me is that he went through hot and cold streaks like anyone, not that he cant reproduce what he did. Overall its not an amazing lineup yet but i was referring to the person that said we would have “no” power with that lineup which is just false. Also, you don’t need a powerful (or “scary”) lineup to be a productive one or even a good team. Just look at KC the two years prior to this one.
@dragonwood I never implied that carrera has or ever would hit 20… read up in the comment thread. I put him as a bench player that might not even make the team (between him and goins). You can tell me that pearce isn’t an every day player but your going to have to give me a reason why. I am a little confused at why you don’t think tulo and martin are every day players. And Travis has played more than two months in each of the last 2 seasons. Im really wondering if you know what your talking about at all…
@jonscriff The yankees are worse off at DH, second, short, third, centre and arguably left and right and they’re probably equal at catcher (sanchez might be better but it’s too small a sample to guarantee that). The yankees rotation is absolutely terrible while the jays had the best rotation in the AL and are losing none of it. Only Tanaka could be considered better than any of the jays starters and possibly Pineda is better than our number 5 (liriano). The jays and the Yanks each have stuff to figure out in the pen as they each have 1 good top end guy and not much else. The Jays have Osuna and the Yanks have Betances. Behind that in the pen the Jays have biagini and grilli while the Yankees really only have Clippard behind betances. There are few in any parts of the Yankees that are as good as the Jays. I am interested to hear why you think the Yankees would be better.
That’s as is though. They’re almost guaranteed to add an outfielder and lefty by default.
Also, refer to my comments above 🙂
Ya I meant to respond to the other poster
I would love to see the Bosox put in the deal for Sale, Abreu 4 Moncada,JBJ,Devers Erod.
That would be awesome. Maybe Castillo instead of Moncada?
I’m told the BoSox no longer want EE. Interested in CWS 1B Jose Abreu as their DH. Could trade for Sale and Abreu for JBJ, ERod, Devers, Castillo.
If that trade is on the table I’m guessing the Red Sox would do that in a heartbeat but highly doubt the White Sox trade Sale without Moncada in the deal. If Moncada was in the deal then Devers would not be.
If that is what it would take to get Sale and Abreu count me in but I can’t see the White Sox trading Sale and Abreu and not getting Moncada.
Moncada with JBJ and others would get deal done 4 Sale and Abreu.